How Power Is Excercised in George Orwelll's 1984 Essay
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George Orwell was the pseudonym for Eric Arthur Blair, and he was famous for his personnel vendetta against totalitarian regimes and in particular the Stalinist brand of communism. In his novel, 1984, Orwell has produced a brilliant social critique on totalitarianism and a future dystopia, that has made the world pause and think about our past, present and future, as the situation of 1984 always remains menacingly possible. The story is set in a futuristic 1984 London, where a common man Winston Smith has turned against the totalitarian government. Orwell has portrayed the concepts of power, marginalization, and resistance through physical, psychological, sexual and political control. The way that Winston Smith, the central…show more content… This rested on the idea that the power to dominate came with differential knowledge. The thought police in Oceania have a similar system with
The telescreen, as people do not know when they are being watched, so as a result they continually police themselves. This gives the thought police and the party the power to dominate, as they can see without being seen.
Somewhat less prominent but perhaps more devastating is the physical control that goes unquestioned in this society. The torture or reeducation' of people destroys the ability of individual resistance at the individual level. As O'Brien says,
"How does one man assert his power over another by making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is inflicting pain and humiliation."
Winston is tortured over a long period of time and it proves successful as he whole- heartedly accepts the party and Big Brother. This physical control produces marginalization as it removes the ability of individuals to exercise their own ideas or draw their own conclusions. It does this through the constant influx of knowledge that Winston must accept or face extreme physical pain. The physical pain removes the existence of an external reality, as eventually he loses the ability to think as an individual. They are left with the somewhat contradictory answers of the party, like war is peace, freedom is